Natasha, her friends, and the other locals who participated in the successful search party travel back to Merseyside – only to witness someone they know very well being handcuffed and taken away!
My friends and I made our way back to Merseyside after the search ended. Nobody spoke to anybody else throughout the bus ride. Until Rebecca finally broke the silence. ‘What do you suppose is going to happen to Mike? Does anybody reckon he might have to undergo some psychiatric evaluation and start receiving therapy?’
Anna looked at Bex in disbelief. ‘Were you not listening to what the policeman just told us? Or maybe you weren’t present at the time? They were planning to take him to hospital and then have him transferred to a rehabilitation center.’
‘Natasha reckons that He intended to jump off the bridge in order to commit suicide. He wanted to die in the exact same way Tracy died so that they could be reunited,’ Rebecca said.
‘Is that the reason why he scattered Tracy’s ashes in in the river before preparing to jump?’ Anna cried in shock. ‘That is fucked up.’
‘Oi!’ the bus driver barked from the front. ‘Watch your language! Got it?’
My friends ignored the driver and continued their discussion about Mike’s mental health and wellbeing. ‘Apparently, he imagined seeing Tracy’s spirit in the water, calling out to him,’ Vanessa said sadly. ‘He thought that if he jumped in the river with Tracy’s ashes in there, his dead body would come into contact with her remains. Because it would be the only way for them to meet again in the afterlife.’
‘Wow,’ Anna said.
‘Wow indeed. There are too many screwed up people out there these days. And today’s society isn’t helping when it comes to handling those with psychological issues.’
‘But at least he’s now in good hands.’
I remained silent, but listened to what the others had to say.
Rebecca put her arm around me. ‘You okay, Tash?’ she asked.
I nodded. So much had happened in such short time. As a matter of fact, it had all happened too quickly.
The next day, somebody turned Paul Jacobs over to the police. The woman who turned him in had refused to give her name, but it didn’t take us all long to discover that she was another one of Tracy’s close relatives.
‘What has Paul been arrested for?’ one of his neighbours asked. ‘What does he have to do with any of it?’
The witnesses watched a policeman handcuff Paul before carting him off in the police car. And everybody – including myself and my friends – were shocked and horrified at the announcement the policeman made.
‘Paul Jacobs,’ he said sternly. ‘I’m arresting you for the destruction and vandalism of a local young woman’s resting place. And for also spreading false rumours.’